Germany set to steamroll tiny San Marino
WORLD CHAMPIONS Germany face minnows San Marino in a 2018 World Cup qualifier with a true David verses Goliath match-up.
Germany take on fellow European powerhouses Italy in Milan next Tuesday in a friendly, their last international of the year, but before the Azzurri, the Germans look destined to clinch three more qualifying points against tiny San Marino.
The landlocked mountainous microstate in North Italy has a population of just 33,400 and it’s football team is ranked 199 places below second-placed Germany by football’s governing body FIFA.
Despite a mounting injury list, anything less than a convincing win would be unacceptable to the fourtime World Cup winners.
Germany top Group C with a perfect record of nine points from three wins, eight goals scored and zero conceded.
At the bottom of the table, San Marino’s part-timers have lost all three games, conceding nine goals and scoring just once, when Mattia Stefanelli netted in last month’s 4-1 defeat in Norway to be nicknamed ‘The Legend’.
“It was a great feeling to score a goal for my national team, I dreamed about doing it since I was a kid,” said the 23- year-old, who netted San Marino’s first goal in a World Cup qualifier since 2001.
The qualifier will be played at Serravalle’s Stadio Olimpico, which has a capacity of just 7,000, where Germany beat San Marino 13-0 in 2006 – an away record for die Mannschaft – and Stefanelli can expect few chances. “Nothing is impossible,” he said. “We will have to fight until the last minute to hope for an opportunity.
“It’s something unique and a great opportunity to face the world champions, we have to enjoy it.”
Previous results suggest a tough night for the hosts. – AFP